Stairway to Heaven

By Melina Rajaei

Medium: Photograph

Dimensions: Unknown

Quote / Inspiration

So you are here to enquire after my health? Praise God, I am quite well,” He said. Then He told me to take a seat. As He began to write, the following utterances were revealed: “Nothing affects me more than the actions and conduct of the friends. The main reason I was ill over the last few days was a letter I had received from Persia describing the misdeeds deeds and misconduct of one of the believers. The news brought me such pain and sorrow that I fell ill and had to stay in bed until last night, when Mirza Haydar-‘Ali delivered a letter from ‘Ishqabad bearing news of the good deeds of one of the friends. It made me so happy that I became well. So if the believers wish for my happiness, they must adorn them heavenly character and conduct.” He continued in this vein with further admonitions, until He said, “It is because of this that I have always said that my well-being and its opposite are in the hands of the friends. ~ Memories of Nine Years in Akka, Youness Khan Afroukhteh


One day we heard that the Master was ill in bed and had not left the andaruni. Since an illness that would confine Him to bed was unprecedented, the resident friends became quite alarmed and for a few days whenever we enquired after His health we were given glad tidings of His recovery But the Master did not appear in the biruni area. After a while we began to lose patience and could no longer endure the situation. Every morning, every night, and at various other times we would show up at the biruni area and enquire after His health from any relative or servant who came down the stairs. But since they all gave hopeful replies, it was clear that they were obeying ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s instructions to impart only good news, lest the friends become unhappy and worried. After some eight or nine days I presented myself at the Master’s House very early one morning, before the rising of the sun. For a while I walked around the flower beds waiting for one of the servants to come down the stairs so that I could enquire about His health. Suddenly I heard the sound of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s finger rapping on the windowpane of His study. I raised my face and looking up beheld the blessed countenance of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in the first light of dawn. I was benumbed by the intensity of joy which flooded my whole being. With a movement of His finger, He beckoned me. Taking long jumps, I scaled the stairs and entered His presence. There stood the luminous figure of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. The Master seemed quite happy and fresh. I bowed.